EDITORIAL: Bond foes' input needed

A good idea surfaced at last week’s school board meeting when Lynn Goebel, coordinator of Citizens for Better Schools, urged that vocal opponents to the high school bond issue start working with bond supporters on a plan that everyone can agree on.

One problem with the twice-failed bond is that during the bond adoption process, citizen participation from outside the school community was minimal. At school board meetings and special hearings on what people wanted included in the bond, a consensus was reached on a remodeled high school with new athletic and performing arts facilities. Two election losses later, it was clear that this is not what the public had in mind.

During the two election campaigns, many objections were voiced in the letters section of this newspaper: people complained about how the bond was structure financially; that a performing arts center was too costly; that a new football stadium was located in the wrong area; and that the remodeling was too extensive in a time of declining enrollment.

Next time, whether it’s in 2004 or 2005, it is essential that bond opponents give their input earlier in the process, and be largely satisfied with the proposal before it gets to the ballot. The proposal must come out of a community-wide process, otherwise another defeat is likely.

A good starting place would be for the opponents, who appeared to be well organized, to come up with a proposition of their own. What exactly are they in favor of? Let us know, and we’ll print it here first.

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